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May almanac: On these days in our city’s history …




May 1, 1997: The newspaper reports on “the many coming-out parties around the Las Vegas Valley,” as Ellen DeGeneres announces she is a lesbian on her sitcom, Ellen.

May 2, 1930: The Pair-O-Dice Casino on the Los Angeles Highway (now the Vegas Strip) shuts down due to “lack of patronage.”

May 3, 1929: A nonstop airplane flight from Reno to Las Vegas is made in two hours and 45 minutes.

May 4, 1997: Controversial UNLV President Carol Harter releases her own evaluation of herself, saying she is doing a great job.

May 5, 1958: The number of passengers flying to Vegas in the first four months of 1958 — 203,408 — is only 304 under the sum total for the first four years of operation for McCarran Field.

May 6, 2004: The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., announces on its website,, that it plans to picket “the sodomite whorehouse masquerading as the Las Vegas Academy in Las Vegas” — for producing The Laramie Project, a play about the beating death of gay Wyoming college student Mathew Shepard.

May 7, 2004: Media mogul Jim Rogers is approved by the Regents as interim chancellor for the state’s university system.

May 8, 1929: Silent film star John Gilbert marries Broadway actress Ina Claire here, giving Vegas “another touch of highlife.”

May 9, 2004: Desert Pines High School teacher Ronald Williamson has his teaching license revoked for helping students cheat on the Nevada High School Proficiency Exam.

May 10, 1973: Speaking at the Sands Hotel, psychologist Dr. Igor Kusyszyn says a compulsive gambler is “like an experimental rat who exists on a schedule of reinforcement so lean that he expends more energy to obtain a pellet of food than the pellet gives him. He literally works himself to death.”

May 11, 1979: Titanium Metals Corp. of Henderson is fined $5,000 for discharging contaminated wastewater “which subsequently seeped into the ground water.”

May 12, 1945: The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler is playing at the Huntridge Theater.

May 13, 1935: Plans are released to truck in 180,000 black bass from Utah to stock the new lake being formed by Boulder Dam.

May 14, 1967: Students at Culley Elementary School successfully launch a live mouse (a “moustronaut”) in the nosecone of a small rocket.

May 15, 1967: An Air Force demolition team removes a homemade bomb placed in the Sahara Hotel by someone demanding $75,000.

May 16, 1908: A message from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Orvia Ring is delivered to the local fledgling school board, saying “women cannot vote in Nevada, but they can hold the office of school trustee.”

May 17, 1935: In grocery stores, fancy tomatoes are 10 cents a pound and four cans of Sego Irradiated Milk, 25 cents.

May 18, 1950: Comedian and musician Harpo Marx opens at The Flamingo Hotel.

May 19, 1967: The Clark County Humane Society files a lawsuit against Pepsi Cola Co. and the Elks Lodge for “illegally raffling off” a pony named “Skipper Dee” during Helldorado Days.

May 20, 1911: Peter Buol, 37, announces his candidacy to become the first mayor of Las Vegas.

May 21, 1953: State senators kill a proposed gaming tax hike, from the then-current 2 percent to 2.5 percent, in the second overtime session of the Legislature.

May 22, 1929: A “teacher-pupil romance” results in marriage when Raby Newton, a local teacher “who has the affections of the young people of Las Vegas High School,” finally marries his former student, Margaret Moffat.

May 23, 1979: The University of Nevada Board of Regents has announced it will consider establishing a law school at UNLV “without support from the Legislature.”

May 24, 1967: About 30 seconds after “a huge underground nuclear test — code-named ‘Scotch’ — is detonated more than 100 miles away,” shock waves roll though Las Vegas and rock high-rise hotels and casinos.

May 25, 1967: The Atomic Energy Commission announces it will set off another large underground nuclear test within a week. Also in the news, FBI agents are widening the search for a former Hungarian freedom fighter suspected in the Sahara Hotel bomb scare 10 days earlier.

May 26: 1917: Sheriff Sam Gay arrests Rodric Loring on “the charge of insanity” for having “queer hallucinations about German spy plots (including) 100 German flying machines coming after him.”

May 27, 1958: Popular burlesque stripper Lili St. Cyr, billed as “the Anatomic Bomb,” is appearing at the El Rancho Vegas.

May 28, 1988: Demolition has begun on the historic 80-year-old ice plant downtown, the first building to bring Las Vegas into the 20th century.

May 29, 1937: Nevada’s lieutenent governor, Fred Alward, reports that Vegas is only three and a half days from Mexico City by paved highways.

May 30, 1925: The problem of paving more streets in Las Vegas — other than the Fremont Street job — is the high cost, which is 22 cents per square foot.

May 31, 1923: Secretary of the Nevada Highway Association W. M. David says Nevadans are paying $22 per citizen to pave the state’s roads, whereas Californians spend $4 per person to pave theirs.

Sources: Las Vegas Age; Las Vegas Morning Tribune; Review-Journal